Hi, my name is Edvard and I’m an addict.
I’ve been an addict for 29 years now, unable to give myself the love, kindness and compassion that all of us humans deserve and need. A full on addict of love and not in a good way. Addictions aren’t healthy.
And I’m done being an addict…
I realized something profound this year, that I’m still struggling with understanding.
That love isn’t actually conditional. Love is unconditional. This means, that I don’t have to impress, fight for, prove myself or earn the right to be loved, because that love is or rather should be inherently giving to all of us. From my family. From my friends. From God. From myself. Love is unconditional.
Even if I’m falling apart, even if I’m not strong enough to carry everyone, even if I show weakness or vulnerability, even if I’m not perfect – then I’m still worth loving and I am still loved.
But I’ve still been an addict, because I’ve yet to shake off my addiction off completely and truly learn to love myself. And to stop seeking that love outside myself.
How do you become an addict?
Well, that’s simple and easy enough. You’re taught that as a child, where love is conditional. Conditional towards how you behave and act, towards how you look, towards the things you say and the things you don’t say, towards how you treat those in your home and live up to their expectations of you. Where your dreams, wounds, vulnerabilities and everything that makes you the beautiful child you are doesn’t matter or worse is punished.
That’s what fucked me up and left me an addict.
If I was sad, I would not get comforted. If I wanted to say something, I would not be listened to. If I was hurting, no one would care. I did not matter, my needs did not matter, my boundaries were non-existent to anyone else and so inevitably myself too. When people treat you like you don’t matter, that’s what you end up believing.
And I was nothing but a sponge to soak up my mother’s emotional wounds, my stepbrother’s violent behavior and my drunken stepfather’s mental, emotional and physical abuse. “Toughen up. What’s your problem? Act right. Don’t misbehave. Take whatever we give you and be grateful, you little shit.”
I was put in a box and as long as I stayed in that box, I would occasionally receive a bit of love. It wasn’t really love though, it was more like a bit of bread crumbs to keep me from starving to death and to keep me in check.
Good boy. Stay down.
You see love really is nourishment for the soul, the heart and the mind.
We can’t survive without it. I should know, I almost ended my life with the loneliness and isolation that comes from being without love.
And when your whole being is starving and screaming out for just a little bit of nourishment, well, then you’ll gladly do anything it takes for just a few crumbs of love. “Just a little bit to keep me going. I don’t need much. Just enough to survive. Please.”
An addict. And I’ve walked around in life with a big flashing neon sign saying “LOVE ME PLEASE!” and that kind of intensity scares away most normal people, because it’s just too much. Just like a junkie on the metro line screaming for heroin would scare away most regulars. But you know who the addict doesn’t scare away?
See the dealer is happy to share a bit of their stash. It comes at a price of course. This shit isn’t for free you know. So you better pay up if you want some of these tasty crumbs, I got here. Let me unload my problems on you, and I’ll feed you a bit of love. Let me take your happiness and energy away and I’ll feed you a bit of love. Let me lie, steal, manipulate and abuse you and I’ll feed you a bit of love.
But we both know, that’s not really love. Because real love is unconditional.
As an addict though, you’re always starving, always looking for the next fix, always in need of a fix, because to live without love is more painful than death.
So I’ve been running from dealer to dealer to get my fix. I’ve been surviving. I’ve done what I had to do to survive, because no one had ever taught me that I was worthy of love just as I am, that I deserved love unconditionally and that love is an inherent part of life for anyone.
And I’ve found dealers and other addicts to share my addiction with. But I’m done being an addict. I’m overcoming my addiction.
Let me tell you how…
It’s not easy.
I’ve been addicted to a lot of things in my life. Sugar, caffeine, alcohol, drugs. Quitting is a difficult and painful process. Your whole being craves those shitty little crumbs to stay alive and it literally feels like dying. And in a way you are. At least part of you is.
And sadly, the dealers want to keep you were you are, because there’s a lot of power for them to have in being able to control you and your addiction. I mean hell, all they gotta do is give a few crumbs out and the addict will let them do whatever they want to. Sounds like a good trade.
So you’ve not only gotta quit the addiction, you’ve gotta quit the dealers too. It’s a tough fucking process, let me tell you.
You’ve gotta have enough self-respect, self-esteem and self-worth to say “I’m done being a fucking addict.” and then you’ve gotta be strong enough and have enough willpower to walk the path.
Good thing I’m a stubborn and unstoppable fucker, eh?
Because I’m done being an addict.
I recently read the book ‘Mastery of Love’ by Don Miguel Ruiz. It’s an amazing book which I definitely recommend you to check out as well, if this stuff resonates with you. Seriously, I listened to the Audiobook like 4 times already (it’s only about 3 hours long though).
There’s one great example in this book which talks about the magical kitchen. And in this magical kitchen there’s all the food you could ever want or wish for. Everything you desire. Poof, there it is. Whatever it is. You will never ever grow hungry, because you will never ever run out of food. In fact, you’ve got so much food in this kitchen, that you will gladly share it with people for free, because you’ve got an abundance of it.
And that’s where you live. In a magical kitchen. Every day. Completely fulfilled. Never going hungry.
Then one day, the dealer knocks on your door. He’s got some crumbs for you to have if you just let him punch you in the face a few times first. And in the past when you were starving, without that magical kitchen, maybe you’d have felt that this was a fair trade. But guess what? You’re full. You’ve got all the food you could ever want. All the love you’d ever need. So you kindly tell the dealer to go fuck himself and maybe throw some healthy green spinach leaves at him to show him what real food looks like, before you send his ass off.
So I’m gonna be hanging out in my magical kitchen from now on, while I get over my addiction. And no, I’m not inviting any dealers over. Go build your own damn kitchen.